tai chi

This is a picture of the Wieden + Kennedy senior team from round the world, currently gathered in Hangzhou, China for our almost annual management off-site get-together business review and planning session. It may look from this picture as though our team is planning to create a chain of asian restaurants staffed by ageing, ridiculously garbed men. But in fact, out here in the Chinese hinterland, we are training to become Tai Chi masters.
After a few years of this we will be able to increase market share for our clients simply by concentrating the power of our Chi. In this, we have been coached by Grand Master Ms Chen, who has won three gold medals in various martial arts styles.


WK Side – Week 13

We’ve been writing lots
this week so today it’s a blog of pictures…



After 10
gruelling 2 hour driving lessons the time finally arrived
to put my skills to the
test. The test instructor who I called Patrick
(turned out his name was actually
Trevor) was a sound judge
of driving ability leaving me fully licensed
and ready to roll.
Tuesday was a glorious day indeed.




We went to the Pixar
exhibition at the Science Museum, it was brilliant, the 3D zoetrope is the
highlight, but its also refreshing to see so many beautiful hand drawn
sketches. No matter how impressive the computer animations may be, they still
used paper and pencil first

Barbs bought our very own
WK Side personal organiser.



Working hard as always…





life lessons from star trek


This is what every top agency manager needs on their desk – a copy of Dave Marinaccio’s ‘All I need to know in life I learned from watching Star Trek’. Mr M is an American adman who realised some years ago that the solutions to all of life’s problems and, in particular, those that arise in the advertising industry, could be found in the episodes of Star Trek. (Obviously we’re talking about the original, high fat, pointy sideburns series, not any of the lesser spin-offs, from the Next Generation onwards.) This is a sort of management/self help book based on the wisdom and lore of Trek. It came up in conversation yesterday and, having got my copy years ago, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it’s still in print and available on Amazon.

There’s lots of useful stuff in the book, from advice not to pitch in a red shirt (because the guy in the red shirt in the landing party is always the one who gets killed first by hostile aliens) to the observation that it’s always good to end the working week/episode with some light hearted socialising and bonding (‘The laugh on the bridge’).

One section in the book talks about mission statements and observes that Star Trek has a mission statement clear enough for even the dumbest crew member to understand and remember:

These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Her five year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

"Suppose you are the dumbest person on the ship. How long do you think the mission will last? Five years? Very good. And suppose you encountered a strange new world? What should you do? Explore it, perhaps…Boldly.

"Now try a simple test. Ask a number of colleagues at your place of work, ‘What is the single most important thing our company is trying to accomplish?’…Chances are you will receive many different answers…What if your company encounters a strange new opportunity? Without a basic philosophy even a business’s smartest employees have to improvise when they meet a new or challenging situation. We could do worse than rewriting the Star Trek mission statement for whatever venture we are on."

Now, Dave doesn’t point out another fact: that Star Trek wisely reinforces this mission statement by repeating it at the start of every episode but, anyway, he made me wonder about a Trek-style mission statement for Wieden + Kennedy. Our current mission statement is:

We exist to create strong, provocative relationships between good companies and their customers.

Maybe we could replace it with this:

This work in progress is Wieden + Kennedy London. Our ongoing mission: to explore strange new new forms of communication, to seek out amazing new clients and new ideas, to boldly go where no agency has gone before.

And of course, this mission statement would be followed by our own rousing and slightly odd theme tune, accompaied by imagery of the agency, er, zooming (boldly) through space towards new ideas.

Or maybe not.

Live long and prosper.

fight night



Have you ever wanted to punch a co-worker? Well, Wieden + Kennedy 12, the experimental ad school inside the Portland advertising giant, has come up with a unique solution – a good old fashioned charity boxing match.12 representatives from agencies all over Portland will square off in the Wieden + Kennedy atrium on Friday, April 28th not just for the glory of their respective firms, but also to raise money for the Central Oregon Boxing club, a youth organization that seeks to teach kids valuable life skills through the sport of boxing.

Fighters from CMD, Leopold Ketel and Partners, The Overland Agency, Sandstrom Design, Johnson Cowan, Borders Perrin Norrander,McClenahan Bruer Communications and Wieden + Kennedy will be taking part in the event. Food and beer will be provided by Rogue Brewery. All proceeds will benefit the Central Oregon Boxing Club.

About the Central Oregon Boxing Club:

The Central Oregon Boxing Club aims to keep kids in school through the sport of boxing. With a primary focus on moral values, self-discipline, hard work and commitment, the club teaches kids much more than a sport – it teaches them how to be good community members. For more information, contact Mark Evans at 541-390-8699.

About Wieden + Kennedy 12:
Wieden + Kennedy 12 is an experiment disguised as a school disguised as an ad agency housed in the Portland, OR headquarters of Wieden + Kennedy. Currently graduating its second class and welcoming its third, the school has worked with such clients as National Voice, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Farm Aid, the Portland Timbers, Wordstock, Nau and Oregon Public Broadcasting.

118 118 spoof honda again


Download 118118_choir_spoof.mov

Parody is the best form of compliment – although this is a humorous take on the ad they’ve obviously put some thought into it! Nice to see how they’ve actually spoofed individual scenes from our original. Follows on from 118 118’s previous spoof of our Honda Cog Commercial. Call 118118 for your nearest Honda Dealer.

Rob in London


Rob Kendall is here at Wieden + Kennedy London on secondment from the Portland office. It’s his first time in the UK. Here’s his report on how he’s finding it.

I’ve been living and working in London for almost a month now. This is my first experience living outside the US so everything feels new and exciting.

I am continually blown away by the history of this city. I keep reminding myself that there were people drinking in pubs here 150 years before my home state of Oregon was even on a map. It’s incredible.

The London office feels oddly familiar to the Portland office. It’s smaller than Wieden Portland but feels equally busy. Everyone here has been incredibly helpful and they are always telling me about cool museums or the best curry restaurants to eat at. It’s comforting going someplace halfway around the world and feeling connected to the place. I have been working on Pizza Hut, Nike Basketball, Arla foods and a little bit of Honda. Things are going really well.

The other morning my train from Highbury to work was delayed and when it finally arrived it was packed – body to body. I somehow managed to find a place to stand. Some lady’s nose was on my shoulder and she was sneezing.

But, for some odd reason the novelty of being on a packed train and the constant rush and noise of the city hasn’t worn off.  There is something very enjoyable about it all.

I’ve done a lot in one month’s time.  I’ve been to Notting Hill and Portobello Road. Seen the insanity of Oxford Circus. Witnessed the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. Went to an authentic Sunday roast.  Even managed to take a short day trip to Paris.  Europe always felt so distant when I lived in Portland and now everything is less than hour away.


I still have an endless list of things I want to do and I have a few questions still not answered: Where are all the Chimney Sweeps and magic sidewalk chalk drawings? Why haven’t I had fish and chips yet? And, why the hell haven’t I seen Kate Moss and Gwyneth Paltrow???